Why Ultra racing by Jerry Mc Carthy

In the Wild Mayo Ultra we had 2 categories in the 300k distance: The unsupported category, riders had to be self sufficient getting around the route and the supported category, where riders could have a support follow vehicle much like a Time Trial, the main difference between the 2 categories for the participant is in the supported category  the rider gets help with navigation, feeding, any mechanicals plus they can change bike and have spare kit if the terrain or weather warrants it.. The last number of years participants tend to go unsupported as it can be hard to get 2 crew persons to give up a weekend to go follow a rider around an Ultra (Even tough it can be a hugely enjoyable and informative experience ) plus  the cost of looking after the back up crew. 

Why Ultra racing by Jerry Mc Carthy Tralee Manor BC


I became interested in Ultra cycling when I stopped bunch racing after an unfortunate accident a few years ago. I’ve always liked racing against the clock whether that’s a 20k TT or a 4min hill climb. Since covid there wasn’t much events being organised for obvious reasons so I started doing longer mileage and enjoyed it.

I competed in the Wild Mayo Ultra last year and enjoyed it. I probably underestimated it after doing Donegal 555 the year before, but 4 hrs in I was in a world of pain due to the terrain and wind so this year I cam more prepared for the event. 

I started off this years event with a tail wind and felt good with a great average speed for the first 100k, then turned left and into cross head wind which dropped average speed but it was just a case of get on with it.

For some reason this year I found the climbs tough but obviously the climb to the mast was always going to be difficult and just a case of getting it done, though the drag to Keem beach went on forever especially into a block headwind. The head dropped a little in those sections for a while until I switched back from climbing bike to an aero bike with TT bars and I was able to get speed and HR back up again after around 8hrs on the saddle 

The road from Mulranny to Newport and back to Westport itself felt great hitting high enough speed on a TT position. My two team mates in the car looked after me well through the ride and we  felt that we got nutrition spot on which is obviously crucial in endurance racing .


I enjoyed the event, it was well organised and of course weather conditions were perfect. Thanks to Padraig and team for hosting a well organised and run event.